We can welcome the fall in numbers of people sleeping rough in towns and villages, but the increase in rough sleeping on the streets of our cities is deeply concerning. I will continue to work with charities and colleagues to see how we might assist local authorities in helping vulnerable people without a home, both in the short term and the long term.
I also met the brilliant people at Crisis to mark the launch of their report on the link between homelessness and domestic abuse.
Many survivors of domestic abuse leave their home to escape a dangerous partner, but right now, not everyone fleeing domestic abuse in England is guaranteed a safe home from their council.
Currently, people fleeing domestic abuse aren’t automatically considered in ‘priority need’ for settled housing. Instead, they are required to prove they are more vulnerable than an ordinary person facing homelessness, which can be very difficult or even impossible. Many survivors face a choice between returning to an abusive situation or the devastating consequences of homelessness.
In our councils and in our communities, we must do better for domestic violence survivors. We must ensure that vulnerable people who flee an abusive or violent household feel safer having made that choice.
If you would like more information on the aforementioned charities and their work, click through to see their Facebook pages.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can go to: http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/